The other night I had my last bottle of 2003 Vieilles Vignes Saint-Joseph from Domaine de la Côte Sainte-Epine. I bought it in bond from the Wine Society a couple of years ago for around £13 after duty and VAT.
As with all the other bottles I had in the case, I approached it with some trepidation. Why you may well ask? How scary can a bottle of wine be? Well, it's got a beautiful core of fruit with decent structure, balance, concentration and length - all good. However, the hallmark Syrah minty-lift is so powerful on this wine that I blink and almost cough each time I sniff it. No exaggeration.
It is a lovely wine, but to be honest I'm not sure I'll buy it again as the mint/menthol character is just too strong in this example for me. Oh well! Still, it means I can now carry on with my case of 2005 Jean-Luc Colombo Crozes-Hermitage instead (also a 100% Syrah from the Northern Rhône), which is delicious and drinking perfectly.